With the start of the 2nd round of the Playoffs, the competition starts getting real. This year we had one crazy regular season, filled with memorable moments, records and disappointments. The 1st round of the Playoffs didn’t have the excitement we all wanted but now we have some really good games ahead of us. But first, let’s take a closer look at the regular season.
This was one hell of a season in terms of records beaten. The most memorable record is, of course, the 73-9 record by the Golden State Warriors. They began the regular season with 24-0 (also a record for the best start by a NBA franchise) and managed to beat the old one by the Chicago Bulls 95-96 team. They were led by the league MVP, Steph Curry, who also had his own incredible record. 402 3-pointers in the regular season. The previous record was 286 3-pointers, and was also held by Curry himself. It was almost the perfect regular season.
A really good surprise this year came from the Western Conference. The Portland Trail Blazers lost 4 of the starting players and managed to make it to the Playoffs. And not only did they make it, they also advanced to the Conference Semifinals, beating the Los Angeles Clippers who have a fantastic team. With a great leader, Damian Lillard, and the MIP of the year, CJ. Mccollum, Portland played really well this year. They sure are the biggest surprise this year, with the Boston Celtics with an impressive season as well.
Despite the horrible season of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant‘s career deserves to be on “The Good” category. This was Kobe’s last season and ever since he announced his retirement, every game felt like a tribute to one of the best players to ever compete on the NBA. And he totally deserves it. This is a player who left his mark on the league and will always be remembered as one of the elite. The 5-times champion went out with a bang, scoring 60 points (60!!!) in his last game against Utah Jazz.
Not everything was good in the NBA this season. There were a few teams that really disappointed their fans this year. Even tough the Houston Rockets managed to clinch their spot in the Playoffs, their season was horrible. With James Harden and Dwight Howard you really have to do better than that. But James Harden looks like he doesn’t want to be there and his defensive game is nonexistent. Dwight Howard will most likely leave Houston. Everything is wrong in that association.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Sacramento Kings are the franchises with the biggest NBA Playoffs droughts (12 and 10 years respectively). The team from Minnesota has a lot of young talent, including last year’s rookie of the year, Andrew Wiggins, and the likely winner from this year, Karl-Anthony Towns. The future doesn’t look so dark but can they improve quickly this year’s horrible performance? As for the Sacramento team, we can’t say if things are going to get better. This is a problematic franchise and we expect no change next year.
The LA Lakers had their worst season ever. That’s reason enough to be in this category. This didn’t have a bigger impact due to Kobe Bryant’s farewell. Everyone was always focused on him but this is a really bad year for the LA team. Luke Walton will be the coach next season, the franchise will likely have a high draft pick and a very busy free agent season, so we hope they can do better next year.
The reason for this format (The Bad, The Good and The Ugly) is because I really wanted a place to put the Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers shouldn’t be in the same place as this franchise. Every team is doomed to have a bad year. But the franchise from Philadelphia is having a lot of bad years. The last 3 regular seasons, this team has won only 47 games!!! Golden State Warriors had 26 more wins just this year. 10 teams had more wins just this year than Philadelphia in the last 3 years. They have a young roster and we really hope they can turn things around. And soon.
Tanking. Every year we’ll have a few teams doing it and NBA needs to do something about it.
We’re now in the 2nd round and things are starting to get interesting. The Western Conference is really heating up with OKC vs Spurs. It will be hard to see one of them not going to the Conference Finals. In the Eastern Conference we think it will be a walk in the park. We think Cleveland will advance to the NBA Finals. Unless they start having some injury problems like last year. And maybe if that happens, they will make it to the Finals anyway.
Our Prediction – NBA Finals: Golden State Warriors – Cleveland Cavaliers. Winner: Golden State Warriors